K8 squeezed Sbu’s hand. The waiting room at the pharmacy clinic in Sea Point was air-conditioned into iciness, but Sbu was still sweating. 

The actual test hadn’t been that bad. One little prick. “Is that it?” he’d asked the nursing sister. “That’s it,” she smiled. “Just wait outside I’ll let you know.” She was much friendlier than the nurses at the Langa clinic. 

It only took fifteen minutes to get the results, but it was the longest fifteen minutes of his life. He looked at the posters explaining the symptoms of tuberculosis or how to give yourself a breast examination if you were a girl. 

He didn’t trust himself to talk to K8. He was so nervous, it felt like his heart was revving like a Formula 1 car in his ribcage. He couldn’t imagine how K8 felt. 

The nurse called them in. “Do you want to do this alone, or together?”

“Together,” said K8, glancing at Sbu. She looked terrified. Her shoulders were tense and bunched up. 

“Okay, come in please.” 

They crowded into the tiny examination room. The nurse took them both by their shoulders and looked seriously into their eyes. 

“You’re both negative.” 

Sbu whooped and K8 sagged in relief. 

“Now, let’s keep it that way.” She handed Sbu a handful of condoms. “Come back if you want to discuss anything else, contraception, funny itches, anything,” and then she shooed them out of her office.

Instead of going back to K8’s car, they strolled down to the promenade, holding hands and feeling a little shell-shocked. 

“So” K8 said, a wicked gleam in her eyes. 

“Well, we could go have sex right now,” Sbu said, cautiously. 

“I’m sensing a but,” K8 frowned.

“You’re the dopest girl I’ve ever met. You’re my best friend. And all this, us being together? It’s amazing. It’s the best thing that’s happened to me. Mara it’s all still so fresh and new and we’re still figuring each other out.” 

“Isn’t sex part of figuring each other out?” K8 looked disappointed.

“Yes. No. Or not yet. I mean, we don’t know what’s going to happen right now, with you going away to study at Rhodes. And I still have to finish school, I still have to go to the bush.” 

“So you don’t want to have sex with me?”

“Of course I want to have sex with you. Have you seen you? You’re smoking hot and smart and confident and nice and crazy talented and brave. And sometimes crazy as hell. But in a good way. It’s just that I don’t want to have sex with you right now. I really care about you, K8. This isn’t some casual thing and we don’t have to rush it.” 

K8 didn’t say anything. Sbu couldn’t tell what she was thinking. The silence stretched out, agonisingly. And then she kissed him, long and deep enough to take his breath away. 

“You are possibly the greatest guy in the whole world.” 

“So you’re not mad?”

“Disappointed, definitely,” K8 said. “But I can wait. You just proved that you’re worth it.”


Image: Sam Wilson, CC-BY

WHAT DO YOU THINK: Do you think K8 and Sbu are right to wait?